Mauricio Pochettino has described his Tottenham Hotspur players as "heroes" after they almost came from 2-0 down against Barcelona on Wednesday night.
The Blaugrana ran out 4-2 winners in the end at Wembley but Spurs nearly forced a famous comeback after clawing the game back to 3-2.
"To concede a goal so early, we destroyed the plan," Pochettino told Sky Sports.
"If we start the game this way, it's so tough for the players. In the second half. I feel proud for the effort of the players.
"For 45 minutes, we didn't concede one chance to Messi - but of course when we are 2-0 down and you give more space as we are attacking.
"It's so difficult to stop this type of player. If you watch the game, in the first half - how many chances did Messi have? Not one. Of course, he's the best player in the world but come on, in the first half we conceded in the first minute.
"We can't talk about topics, we need to talk about reality. We were handicapped against Barcelona after conceding after one minute. I think our players were heroes to chase the game against a team with Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho."